Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Tale of Birds in the Air: Chapter II- Flying Forward

Last week our story began with 3 different Birds in the Air quilts - a new start and 2 old UFOs that made me feel guilty for starting the new one. 

I won Block Lotto blocks in 2016 for this version of six inch blocks in blue and purple tone on tones + white tone on tone. I wanted 100 blocks and had 61.   So last Tuesday I made 13 blocks....

...and I made 13 more on Wednesday...

 ...and I made 13 more on Thursday.    Then I was going to start assembling them but figured out with the border of Flying Geese the quilt would end up 76 inches square. I really don't like square quilts all that much and I've come this far so decided two more rows of 10 would be needed.   So guess what I will be doing the next couple of days...making 10 blocks each day. 

The other old Birds in the Air quilt I started in 2014 - inspired by a quilt in a magazine that was inspired by a vintage quilt.   I had a few blocks made and some navy fabric set aside with the hand dyed scraps I won back then.    

To move forward on this version I decided on color layout and how many more blocks of each color I would need.  I had the least amount of yellow to work with so it goes in the center. I made two more blocks and then made the center medallion.   Next round will be red/orange but I'm going to try to make the rest of the blocks for the purple/blue round so I can use the remaining blue/purple scraps to make those extra bird blocks and flying geese border blocks for the other quilt. 

The new Pansy Birds in the Air didn't get worked on since it was the newest and the reward for working on these oldies will be some Pansy Birds in the Air.  (I have to think of a better name). 

Sunday, October 15, 2017


I made another 12 inch Clarissa hourglass block.   With only 3 blocks made so far I'm only 1/14th of the way finished.  I'm making a quilt similar to the one made by Clarissa White Alford c. 1890 .   This block takes 1.5 inch strips to make the hourglass units. When I was finished with the strips I put the scraps into the 1.5 inch scrap bin and then I started hearing VOICES. 

You should try to figure out how to make those OTHER vintage blocks you like. They look like they can be made from 1.5 inch pieces. 

But I was going to use all the 1.5 inch scraps I had at year end to make more spider web blocks. 

You can still do that but make the little hourglass units with wings first. 

Ok, but I should clean off the mountain at the end of that cutting mat.  I can barely cut a 1.5 inch square of fabric. 

That's no fun. 

If you clean off half of it you can reward yourself with a new start. 


Gosh.  These are no fun. It's a pain trying to get that red square in the middle of those units to make an octagon.  Then I'm not sure how to sew them together with connecting red squares. Ok. I think I got that block out of my system. 

Wait a minute...what if...

 ...what if I add some red corners.    Then I will have a square block and connecting them will be so much easier.   Hey, that might just work.    But, you that I look at it I see an Ohio Star variation. 

It would be so much easier to construct them like this instead of trying to make those octagons. 

Oh, yes! 

And guess what...since you cut a 1.5 inch HST piece off the beginning of the 1.5 inch scrap before you started cutting hourglass pieces and after you cut hourglass pieces... can make some little 2 inch Broken Dishes blocks.  

You really need to finish cleaning off the end of that cutting mat now. 

Then may I start something else new? 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Using Pink 3.5 Inch Scraps

This week I dug into my 3.5 inch scraps and made some Pink Glitter blocks.  

I've been making a few of these each month and using the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for the corners and center and other colors in the 3.5 inch scraps for the rest of the nine patch and background.  3.5 inch scrap pickings are now getting thin.  And that's a good thing plus I'm kind of tired of making these.  I chain piece them but they are kind of fiddly to make and take a lot of time to cut. 

I now have a pile of 134 of them and the pattern Glitter in Jen Kingwell's book Quilt Lovely calls for 152 blocks for a 66 x 73 (if I remember right) quilt.    That's a little small for me but I'll go with that since I now only have to make 18 blocks and I think that's doable by the end of the year. 

After I make Glitter blocks I look to see if I have enough 3.5 inch scraps to  make any six inch Bow Tie blocks.

I have over a hundred of them but by my paper I was thinking of making a quilt maybe 14 x 15 blocks which = 210 blocks so I'm probably only half way finished with making these blocks.  This project will continue into next year but instead of using 3.5 inch scraps which are quickly dwindling I'll dig into the scrap "chunks" - odd sized bits and pieces less than a fat quarter. 

And after making the bow ties I check to see if there's enough of any scrap left to make a 3.5 inch Snowball. 

I haven't counted these yet. Right now they are in the Parts Department because I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them.   Right now I'm thinking of combining with some 3 inch 9 patch blocks since I have a box of them. We'll see.  They might also make a nice border or I could see how they look with those little 3.5 inch Rail blocks in the Parts Department. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

All Creatures Great and Small

All Creatures Great and Small hexies. 

And now there are 48. 

I still have quite a few fabrics with critters on them. I guess I should figure out how many hexies it takes to make a lap quilt. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Tale of Birds in the Air

Somehow I ended up at a free pattern download for Tula Pink's Chipper quilt.  I didn't need to download it because I recognized it as a large Birds in the Air block and I know how to make those.  But what I did like was the layout and mix of solids.   I have a collection of large print pansy fabrics and decided this should be the block for them.   I immediately made a few 12 inch blocks to see if I liked them.  I do. They will be set on point. 

A long time ago I made these six inch blocks from pansy fabrics but I just couldn't bring myself to cut into some of those larger prints.   

I wasn't even sure I liked them all that much either so this quilt kind of stalled.  

 Maybe I'll make a reversible quilt and this will be the reverse.  I do love pansies. 

Ok...back to the tale of Birds... I felt guilty starting a new Birds in the Air quilt when I have a couple of other ones that are UFOs.   Back in 2016 I won about 50 six inch blocks from Block Lotto in blues and purples plus white tone on tones.    I was going to make a quilt with Birds in the Air bordered by Flying Geese similar to one I saw online. 

 So my guilt forced me to make a few more Birds in the Air blocks for this quilt.   I thought I only needed sixty blocks for the body plus four for the quilt corners so I made 9 blocks plus blocks for the four corners.   Then I realized I need 100 blocks for the center not 60 so I have forty more to go. Darn!  I don't think I may have to add some gray or gold birds to the mix because I have very few purple fabrics or blue tot or small prints.  I'm not even sure I have enough white fabric. 

And I have even more birds in a box that need to get some air.  I evidently started this in 2014 because I think I started it right after I saw it in the magazine.  I had won some hand dyed scraps from Vicki Welsh  and thought they would look wonderful in this quilt against the navy. 

I'm not sure why these stalled.  I even have the 2.5 inch strips of scrap fabrics cut and threw some other hand dyes in the box to add to the mix. 

So I made four more half blocks. The construction of this quilt requires you to make the half blocks and then some get used as corners of a square in square, some get used as corners of a flying geese type block and some get made into actual Birds in the air. 

And now that I see the two Bird halves together I really like the look.   Maybe they would look good in those civil war repro scraps with muslin? or shirtings? Hmmmm.  Maybe the Tale of Birds in the Air has no ending.  But maybe the moral of the story is that a bird in the hand (quilted quilt)  is worth two in the bush.  Say what?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

In the Hoop: Old MacDonald Farm Sampler

Old MacDonald Farm Sampler is now in the hoop. 

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to quilt it all.  Right now I'm using regular hand quilting thread but I might switch to perle #12 or #8 for parts of it like the mountains. 

I've quilted the barn with straight lines for the most part. 

I've also stitched 1/4 inch around a hen and her chicks to make them stand out a little from the background. I think I'll quilt in a V for wings on the chicks as well as give them some straight line stitches for tail feathers and maybe give them a french knot eye.   Then I' really not sure what I will do with the green "grass" background.  Time will tell.